The Kremlin is considering equipping the military functions to fight drug cartels

[Russian Air Force practiced aerial elimination of drug field and lab sources in Afghanistan, during recent SCO "Peace Mission 2010" exercises is Kazakhstan, in preparation for possible military counter-narcotics missions in Afghanistan.  If Russian military forces (including air force) actually join with Western forces in Afghanistan then the game will be over; the Taliban will have no place left to hide.]

The Kremlin is considering equipping the military functions to fight drug cartels

Mukhin

Viktor Ivanov intends to win the drug barons with the help of the army.
The presidential administration is preparing a draft presidential decree, Dmitry Medvedev, the inclusion of the State anti-drug committee (SAC) representative of the military. Apparently, this representative will be Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov. It is the army leadership’s intention to entrust the function of combating organized armed groups engaged in drug trafficking from Afghanistan through neighboring CIS countries in Russia and Europe. A General Staff will manage this process. Such information is provided “NG” a Kremlin source.

“It’s a paradox: in the current SAC presents almost all the ministries down to sports and recreation, but officials of the Defense Ministry is not there – shared their opinions with” NG “officer of the Federal Service for Drug Control (FSKN), who asked not to be name. – Although the experience of many countries in Latin America and Southern Europe is well-armed army and navy to help police fight gangs of drug cartels. “

As the source stressed, “Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the Federal Drug Control Service does not have special forces capable to deal with major organized narkobandami, and here have a role to play Army and Navy. The officer referred to the chairman’s statement HOOK, director of the Federal Service for Drug Control Viktor Ivanov, who last Friday said the need to “form a counter-narcotics forces in the Defense Ministry in order to use the facilities of the military authorities in opposition to large-scale drug trafficking.” According to Ivanov, is due to the fact that “drug criminals are increasingly using firearms, including automatic and grenade launchers.” Military units could serve as analytic functions and power, the head of Federal Drug Control Service.

Viktor Ivanov is not the first time in favor of bringing the army to fight organized drug crime. As you know, at the end of June this year he called for the emergence in southern Kyrgyzstan Russia’s new military base to combat drug trafficking. And now the Ministry of Defense leadership is already in talks on this issue with the Kyrgyz side. True, the powers and functions of a Russian military facility, which is scheduled to deploy to Kyrgyzstan, will be broader. Although it is likely that Russian troops would be ready to fight with organized narkobandami.

Defense Ministry official reaction to the initiatives of the head of Federal Drug Control Service to bring the army for anti-drug fight has not yet been reported. However, in the expert community there is a consensus that the leadership of the Defense Ministry will not object to providing him with such additional powers. Even more than that – one of the officers Glavkomata Air Force in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta did not rule out that “if a political decision is Air Force is ready to fight against poppy cultivation and its processing factories in opium and heroin in Afghanistan.” According to him, such training and combat missions already practiced. Among them was done on working out ended last Saturday in Kazakhstan anti-terror exercises SCO “Peace Mission 2010″, which went together with my colleagues on the SCO, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

According to Russia’s permanent representative to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, the initiative of Viktor Ivanov on bringing troops to fight organized drug crime “very relevant”.He was confident that the Russian army could play an important role in strengthening the state border of Russia with other CIS countries. This is even more significant, “since NATO troops do not pay enough attention to the fight against drugs in Afghanistan.” Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, who has long headed the Defense Ministry General Directorate of International Military Cooperation, also believes that the involvement of the military department in the fight against drug cartels – “a reasonable and essential phenomenon.” According to him, the army will deal with here is quite specific cases related to the strengthening of state security. Especially in the Joint Staff, he believes, is capable and effective intelligence structures, which can also make a significant contribution to the fight against drug trafficking.

09.27.2010 / Vladimir Mukhin

Source - The Independent Newspaper

Breaking Israel’s Stranglehold over American Foreign Policy

The Truth Will Set U.S. Free:

Breaking Israel’s Stranglehold over American Foreign Policy

If Israel’s stranglehold over U.S. foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington’s unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests, say leading analysts of U.S.-Israeli relations.

According to John J. Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, “The only plausible way to weaken the lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy is for prominent policymakers and opinion-makers to speak openly about the damage the special relationship is doing to the American national interest.”

“Plenty of people in the United States, especially inside the Beltway, know that Israel is an albatross around America’s neck,” says Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. “But they are afraid to stand up and say that for fear that the lobby will attack them and damage their careers.”

“Hopefully, some of them will develop a backbone,” he adds.

Philip Giraldi, executive director of the Council for the National Interest, believes that Tel Aviv’s stranglehold over Washington can be broken “only by directly challenging the power of the Israel lobby and the false narrative about how it is of value to the United States.”

Giraldi, a contributing editor to The American Conservative, says that “it must be done from the bottom up as Israel cannot be challenged in the mainstream media, Congress, and in the White House.”

“The American people must learn that Israel is and always has been a strategic liability that has done immense damage to the United States and its worldwide interests,” concludes the former CIA officer.

If there is to be an end to Israel’s decades-long “sway over Congress and intimidating presidents,” says Jeffrey Blankfort, a prominent Jewish American critic of Israel and its American lobby, “it will require appeals and actions beginning on a local level that inform the American people not so much about what Israel has done to the Palestinians but what its unregistered agents in the U.S., euphemistically described as ‘lobbyists,’ have done to destroy what little is left of American democracy and the attendant costs in flesh and blood, as well as its tax dollars.”

A long-time pro-Palestinian activist noted for his trenchant critique of Noam Chomsky, Blankfort attributes the failure of such efforts to get off the ground to “the continued unwillingness of the leading figures of the Palestinian solidarity movement in the U.S. to acknowledge the invidious power of the Zionist Lobby,” who, following Chomsky’s anti-imperialist analysis, prefer to “place the primary responsibility for Israel’s crimes and U.S. Middle East policies at Washington’s doorstep.”

“So the first steps,” Blankfort suggests, “may be to publicly challenge these figures while at the same time moving past them and addressing the American people directly.”

No American President will ever have enough latitude to resolve the conflict in Palestine “unless and until enough Americans are informed enough to make their democracy work,” according to Alan Hart, former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News.

“In other words,” explains Hart, who was also a BBC Panorama presenter specializing in the Middle East, “if President Obama or any of his successors is ever going to be free to confront and defeat the Zionist lobby’s stooges in Congress and the mainstream media, there has got to be created a constituency of understanding about why it is not in America’s own best interests to go on supporting Zionism’s monster child right or wrong.”

The essence of the problem, Hart argues in the three-volume American edition of his book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is that “Americans have been conditioned, brainwashed, to believe a version of history, Zionism’s version, which is a pack of propaganda lies.”

Jeff Gates, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, believes that “transparency, accountability and better design” are required to break Israel’s hold on American foreign policy.

“At present, the American public is ignorant of Israel’s all-pervasive influence. Its control includes the media-enabled deployment of fixed intelligence to induce this nation to war for Greater Israel,” says Gates, author of Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War.

“We will know that accountability is underway when we see federal grand juries convened to consider charges against Israel’s agents, assets and sayanim (volunteers). When a jury brings in the first verdict for treason, Americans will know that the rule of law is being restored. We will know that a solution is within sight when the many appendages of its lobby are required to register as foreign agents.”

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan.

Escalation of Drone Attacks Coincides With Kandahar Offensive–No Coincidence

[American airborne terror bombings are having the desired effect for the desired reasons, to provoke violence which will justify an outright invasion of Pakistan by American/NATO Special Forces troops, accompanied by intensive air support.  This is criminal aggression of the first order and the world sits idly by, doing nothing, except drooling over the possibility of getting in on the American gravy train as pay-off for their silence.  If it doesn't make you sick, it should.]

Repeated U.S. drone strikes could spark another round of terrorist attacks in Pakistan

English.news.cn
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — At least nine people were killed and another two injured in three U.S. drone strikes launched on Sunday evening in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan, reported local media.

According to the reports, the U.S. drones launched three strikes at different targets in Miranshah, North Waziristan, a place bordering Afghanistan, which is believed to be one of the strongholds of militants in Pakistan.

During the first strike, the U.S. drones fired three missiles at a house located at the Datta Khel Road in Miranshah, killing at least four people and injuring two others.

In the second strike, six to seven U.S. drones seen hovering over Miranshah fired five missiles at a target at the Tarmano Road in the area, killing at least three people.

In the third strike, the U.S. drones fired one missile at another target in the Miranshah, killing at least two people.

The third strike launched by U.S. drones on Sunday evening counts for the eighth of its kind over the past week. Starting from last Sunday, the U.S. drones have apparently stepped up its strike against the militants hiding in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan. So far over 40 people including some important militant leaders have reportedly been killed in the strikes since last Sunday.

The so-called precision strikes of the U.S. drones against militants have also mistakenly killed many other innocent people. There are reports saying that the death ratio of militants killed against civilians in such strikes stands at about 1 against 25, leading to a strong anti-American sentiment in the country.

Local watchers believe that the repeated U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, plus the recent sentencing of a Pakistani female scientist named Aafia Siddiqui to 86-year imprisonment by a US court over terrorism charges, could lead to another round of fierce terrorist attacks in the country.

On Saturday night three NATO oil tankers were attacked by Taliban in Pakistan and Pakistan Talibans have threatened to continue attacks on NATO convoys supplying goods to the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan through the land route of Pakistan unless Aafia Siddiqui, a female Pakistani scientist recently sentenced to 86-year imprisonment by a US court, is released and returned to Pakistan.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Reports from Turkish Weekly That PKK Leaving Turkey

[If this report is correct, then it will probably mean that the PKK will substantially increase its strength in Northern Iraq, just in time for the battle for permanent partition of the country really heats-up.]

PKK Militants Leaving Turkey

Militants of the terrorist organization PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) are promptly leaving the territory of Turkey, the Turkish newspaper Taraf wrote.

According to the newspaper, the leader of the organization, Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in Imrali island prison, ordered the militants to leave the areas, where a probability of clashes with Turkish troops is high, CNN Turk reported.

Commenting on this report, President Abdullah Gul said on Sunday that Turkey would not allow any terrorist group to operate on its soil.

“If they have understood this, it is a good development,” – Gul said.

Indian Press Carries Rumor of Pakistani Taliban (TTP) Plans for Hit on Gen. Kayani

[Consider this report to be pure disinformation to quell recent reports of Kayani meeting with Taliban, including Haqqanis.  Believe it only if it comes to pass, successfully.]

Kayani, corps commanders on Pak Taliban’s hit list: Intelligence agencies

2010-09-27 15:20:00
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning to target Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Kayani and corps commanders, intelligence agencies have warned.

The warning about attacks on the high profile officials came after they received details of a Taliban meeting held in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

According to The Nation, the participants at the meeting discussed the arrangements for future terrorist activities and decided to launch an effective terrorist operation to eliminate the pro-American elements in the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments.

The intelligence report also pointed out that planning of the recent terrorist attacks, including the attack on the American Consulate in Peshawar, had been the part of the said meeting.

“It has been further learnt that it was also decided in this meeting to target Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and corps commanders close to him in the near future” the report mentioned. (ANI)

Russia and China sign series of energy agreements

Russia and China sign series of energy agreements

Medvedev and Hu JintaoThe presidents of Russia and China toast the signing of a series of deals on energy co-operation

China and Russia have signed a series of agreements to boost energy co-operation during a ceremony to open an oil pipeline between the countries.

Leaders of the two nations agreed deals on gas supplies, energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear power.

President Dmitry Medvedev is visiting China, where he and President Hu Jintao opened a pipeline that will supply Russian oil under a 20-year deal.

Both sides hailed the move as a “new era” in co-operation.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told reporters in Beijing that Russia was in talks with China on plans to supply natural gas from 2015.

“Russia is ready to meet China’s full demand in gas”, said Mr Sechin.

However, while it is thought that the two sides have agreed terms on the volume of gas to be supplied, they have not agreed a price.

‘Milestone’

In August, Russia opened its section of a 625-mile (1,000km) oil pipeline from eastern Siberia to China.

The pipe connects Russian oil fields with Daqing, a major oil production base in northeastern China.

“Both sides believe that the current strategic partnership between China and Russia stands at a new starting point,” President Hu said.

“The smooth completion of the pipeline project is a model of the two countries’ mutually beneficial win-win cooperation and a milestone for Sino-Russian energy co-operation.”

The Crisis of Consciousness

The Crisis of Consciousness

Featured Columnist – Meditations
Martin LeFevre

There’s a lot of talk these days about a “revolution in consciousness.” The vast portion of it is just that—talk.

It simply isn’t true to say “we’re in the middle of a revolution in consciousness.” But does the verbiage indicate that a genuine change is occurring in man’s consciousness? No, not at this point.

A revolution in consciousness refers to a radically different way of perceiving and thinking about nature and the world, not the knowledge neuroscientists are gaining into the mechanics of mental processes. It’s brainless to equate a revolution in consciousness with brain research.

Much more importantly, the darkening and delimiting of man’s consciousness is increasing exponentially. That’s primarily because the fundamental assumption at the core of what we think of as consciousness—the center as self—not only remains unchallenged, but is idolized.

As the crisis of consciousness intensifies, some commentators are reviving the old Freudian division of the conscious and unconscious minds. That old idea certainly won’t provide a light at the end of the infinitely regressing tunnel.

The unconscious level is no more important or intelligent than the conscious mind. It’s largely the storehouse of unexperienced experiences and unfelt emotions. In other words, the unconscious is the repository of unexamined conditioning. And psychological conditioning is never intelligent.

The unconscious level is the active dimension of the past. Without self-knowing, people act out of it, and become conduits for the growing darkness of collective consciousness.

Dispensing with the silly distinction between the conscious and unconscious levels, and without creating another duality, we need to make a sharp distinction between two orders of consciousness. Only then can we give any clear and coherent meaning to a revolution in consciousness.

There is the consciousness we generally experience, based on thought and memory. But with the ending of that consciousness, even momentarily, there is another consciousness, which flows from awareness and insight.

In other words, the brain dominated by thought generates the consciousness we know. But there is another kind of consciousness altogether, which awakens in the brain (and is infinitely greater than thought-consciousness) when thought falls essentially silent.

Most of us, most of the time, have a partial consciousness based on thought, which blocks and precludes true consciousness. Moreover, that partial consciousness, which once contained the richness of myth and tradition, is devolving dangerously in humankind.

What reverses the movement of darkness within man, individually and collectively, and awakens the consciousness of the cosmos in the human being?

There is no method, but I find that the negation of memory and experience in the act of undivided, unwilled attention in the mirror of nature creates a profound shift in consciousness.

The action of spontaneous, undirected attention quiets and cleanses the brain, temporarily at least, of its useless, accumulated content, allowing the mind to fall silent and participate in the consciousness of the cosmos.

To my mind, that is the true meaning of meditation, which entails the ending of thought. For millennia people have tried every trick and technique to achieve a deeply quiet mind, but these are also devices and products of thought. The silence they produce is a specious one, a form of self-hypnosis.

Is the endarkenment of consciousness inevitable with the evolution of sentient species? Apparently, since thought-consciousness accumulates harmful content over the centuries, eventually producing the crisis of consciousness we see in man today. It’s a process exactly the opposite of Teilhard de Chardin’s progressive evolution toward an ‘Omega Point.’

Can the dark matter of thought-consciousness ignite, allowing true consciousness to emerge? What would an actual revolution in consciousness (which again, has nothing to do with scientific knowledge or the conditioning of the unconscious) look like?

There have been two great creative explosions since the beginning of civilization. They produced the previous differences in consciousness between the East and West.

The Greek explosion was primarily intellectual and materialistic, emphasizing the rational mind of the West, at the expense of the emotional and spiritual dimension in the human being.

The other creative explosion occurred in India at the time of the Buddha, and was deeply inward, spiritual, and affective in nature. It is, as far as I know, the only precedent for the revolution in consciousness essential to the survival and flowering of humanity.

This is perhaps why Buddhism has such appeal in the deracinated West. But as Buddhism became an encrusted tradition as well, it slowly lost its insight and perfume. Besides, tradition itself is dead, and has become a tremendous impediment to psychological revolution.

Humankind is in the thrall of thought-consciousness. Is the increasing pressure of man’s fragmentation of the earth and humanity using ‘higher thought’ driving us toward a true revolution in consciousness?

Martin LeFevre

martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net

Anti-War Activists to Protest Against FBI

Anti-War Activists to Protest Against FBI

Area activists protest outside FBI headquarters following raids on Chicago homes

By JENEL NELS

A group of anti-war activists opposed to recent FBI searches at homes in Chicago and Minneapolis have planned a two-daydemonstration outside Chicago FBI headquarters in response to the searches.

“The investigation and the raids are completely baseless. There is nothing criminal about organizing against the war and in solidarity with oppressed people in Colombia, in Palestine, in Iraq and in Afghanistan,” said Maureen Murphy of the Palestine Solidarity Group in Chicago.

Last Friday the FBI searched eight addresses in Chicago andMinneapolis. Warrants suggest the agents were searching for links between the anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East.

“We view these raids as an attack on our entire movement,” said Murphy.

Joe Iosbaker and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, both of Chicago, said the government targeted them because of their outspoken voice against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They both denied any wrongdoing.

An attorney for Iosbaker and Weiner believes a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting a free-speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups opened the door to the recent raids.

The FBI says it is not a free speech issue but predicated on “criminal violations.” The agency says it collected 30 boxes of evidence in its raid at the Logan Square couple’s home.

The protests are planned for Monday and Tuesday.


Laying the Groundwork for the US Invasion of Pakistan

[According to Afghanistan war logs: Al-Qaida alleged to be involved in rocket smuggling, most of the rockets distributed within the "al Qaida" network were 107 mm Norinco rockets (China), Artillery rockets , which have a maximum range of 8,500 meters= 5.28 miles.   If this is the type of rocket observed firing upon the outpost, which is eight miles from the border, then the rockets were not fired from Pakistan, yet it provided sufficient excuse to penetrate deeper into Pakistani space.  What we are seeing is the laying of groundwork to justify a full-scale invasion of Pakistan under the lie of "self-defense."]

US copters kill 30 inside Pakistan

By Anwar Iqbal
Isaf confirmed that the helicopters struck at the Haqqani Network fighters in Pakistan on Sunday. – Photo by REUTERS (File)

WASHINGTON: US attack helicopters have killed more than 30 people inside Pakistan, diplomatic sources told Dawn on Sunday.

US military sources say that all 30 – killed during a hot pursuit on Friday – were Haqqani Network fighters.

The militants, the sources said, had attacked Combat Outpost Narizah, an Afghan base eight miles from the Pakistani border in Tani district of Khost.

US forces repelled the attack and pursued the militants to their post just across the border in North Waziristan.

“An air weapons team in the area observed the enemy fire, and following Inter-national Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, crossed into the area of enemy fire,” the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release.

“The Isaf aircraft then engaged, killing more than 30 insurgents.”

Isaf confirmed that the helicopters struck at the Haqqani Network fighters in Pakistan.

The attack helicopters launched their attack “after following the proper rules of engagement under inherent right of self-defence,” Master Sergeant Matthew Summers, a public affairs official, told reporters.

On Saturday, Isaf launched a second attack against the Haqqani Network, after taking fire in the border area. “Several additional insurgents” were killed in that attack.

The assault on Combat Outpost Narizah is the sixth against outposts in eastern Afghanistan since the end of August.

The US claims that the Haqqani Network is based near Miramshah in North Waziristan, and has close ties to Al Qaeda and other Pakistani and Central Asian militant groups.

US officials say that Isaf forces are permitted to pursue Taliban forces across the border if they are engaged in fighting or are under attack.

They said that US and Pakistani military commanders have agreed to a set of rules for hot pursuit, which says that US forces must be engaged with the Taliban or Al Qaeda as they cross into Pakistan.

US forces, however, not penetrate more than six miles into Pakistani territory.

But they can go deeper inside Pakistan if they identify the location of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahri, or Mullah Omar.

Pakistan denies having such an agreement while US officials refuse to offer on the record comments on this issue.

Iran cyber attack like a spy novel

Iran cyber attack like a spy novel

Berlin – The report about a cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear programme by the computer worm Stuxnet reads like a chapter from a modern spy novel.

The sophisticated, complicated computer virus has targeted, of all places, controversial nuclear facilities in Iran, a country that the United States has described as a state sponsor of terrorism.

But Stuxnet is not fiction – rather, it’s a worrisome reality.

Security experts have known for months about the vulnerabilities to Stuxnet of computerised control equipment that manage oil pipelines, electric utilities and nuclear plants – particularly software and equipment from Germany’s high tech Siemens.

As early as July, Siemens made virus-scanning software available to its clients after learning of the bug, according to The New York Times.

Siemens said the malware appeared designed to extract data from industrial companies using Siemens software, and had been detected during a routine update of its software with a German industrial client.

On Saturday, Iran confirmed that its industrial computer system had become a victim of cyber-terrorism and that numerous computers were infected with Stuxnet. An IT official of Iran’s mines and metals ministry told the Mehr news agency that 30 000 computers belonging to industrial units made by Siemens had been infected.

Best malware ever

While officials did not mention Iran’s nuclear plants – which include the power plant in Bushehr and the enrichment facility in Natanz – the ISNA news agency reported that the Iranian Atomic Organisation had held a seminar in recent days to improve defences against Stuxnet.

“Stuxnet is the most refined piece of malware ever discovered,” said Alan Bently, vice president of the US security firm Lumension.

“The worm is significant because mischief or financial reward wasn’t its purpose. It was aimed right at the heart of a critical infrastructure,” he said.

Stuxnet was first publicly identified in July, by Belarussian and German security experts, sources and media reports say. It accessed mainly Siemens control equipment by using four critical flaws in Microsoft Windows.

The flaws were identified by German security expert Ralph Langner with a team that identified Siemens as the special target. In early August, Microsoft issued an emergency patch to correct the flaw.

Windows is used by up to 80% of the world’s computers.

Langner spoke of the “hacker of the decade.” On a blog, he offered possible reasons for an attack aimed at Iran. He claimed the virus was developed by insiders who wanted to sabotage such facilities, and noted it was no accident that Iran has had technical problems with its plants in recent weeks.

Digital warfare

Further alarm was raised when it was discovered that the Bushehr facility was using an un-licensed version of Siemens’ special industrial control software.

To make matters worse, it was not properly configured.

“I have never seen anything like that, not even in the smallest cookie plant,” an appalled Langner said, after seeing evidence of the violations in a press photo of a Bushehr central control monitor screen that registered a clear systems error.

Frank Rieger of the Chaos Computer Club, a German-based organisation of hackers, proclaimed: “The first strike of digital warfare has been made.”

Writing in the Frankfurter Allgemein newspaper, he claimed that Stuxnet had sabotaged Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme.

Another expert, author Arne Schoenbohm, says such a scenario is quite possible: “Cyberspace has become the fifth military battlefield, after land, air, water and space.”

Not individual hackers

There’s little surprise that internet rumours speculate that Israel or the US government was behind the attack. There were charges that the US was testing its newly-organised cyber warfare command at the Pentagon.

Derek Reveron, a professor of national security and expert in information technology at the US Naval War College, refuted such speculation in a broadcast interview on Saturday.

He acknowledged that Stuxnet’s sophistication invited such speculation. But he noted that government is way behind the specialised private sphere, upon which it draws for expertise.

He said Stuxnet has spread around the US, to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan, and has prompted inter-governmental co-operation in defeating it.

“The worst scenario would give hackers the ability to control a system where they could impact regulation… and cause physical destruction of a plant,” he told broadcaster Al Jazeera.

“That’s why governments around the world are coming together.”

But experts from Symantec and other security firms believe that individual hackers would never have been able to develop such a sophisticated virus. Given the amount of resources and know-how that would go into developing such malware, there must be a government or at least a state-sponsored private firm behind the attacks, they said.

- SAPA

Iran Kills “Main Elements” behind Bomb Attack

Iran Kills “Main Elements” behind Bomb Attack

2010-09-27 07:50:52     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps of Iran (IRGC) announced on Sunday that Iranian forces have killed main elements behind the recent terrorist bomb attack in Iran’s northwestern city of Mahabad, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“Combatants of Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada headquarters of the IRGC Ground Force managed to kill the main and key elements behind the recent terrorist attack in Mahabad in a successful operation,” Commander of IRGC Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour was quoted as saying.

But Pakpour did not give any further details on the place and date of the operation or the number of deaths and possible casualties, said the Fars report.

Iranian officials had earlier vowed to punish those responsible for the deadly attack, which killed 12 people and injured dozens more in Mahabad in Iran’s northwestern province of West Azarbaijan last Wednesday.

The Iranian armed forces staged military parades throughout the country last Wednesday to mark the start of the Week of Defense, commemorating Iranian sacrifices during the eight-year Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s.

The Haunting of Our Pakistani Friends In This, Their Greatest Hour of Need

The Haunting of Our Pakistani Friends In This, Their Greatest Hour of Need

msnbc

A father places his hand on his 7 year old son, Abrar, who is suffering from typhoid, at a camp for flood victims in Nowshera, on Sept. 15. The floods are Pakistan’s worst-ever natural disaster in terms of damage, with at least 6 million people forced from their homes and 20 million people affected. The disaster has killed more than 1,750 people, and aid agencies have warned that millions are at risk of death if emergency food and shelter are not quickly provided.(Fayaz Aziz / Reuters)
Stranded flood victims scramble for food rations, dropped by Pakistan Army soldiers from a helicopter on Sept. 13, near the village of Goza in Dadu district in Sindh province. Since the flooding began over six weeks prior, new devastation continues across the Sindh province as flood waters continue to rise and overcome new villages. The country’s agricultural heartland has been devastated, with rice, corn and wheat crops destroyed. The army and aid organizations are struggling to cope with the scope and scale of the disaster that has left over a third of the country under water. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
A young child rests in a hammock at an overhead bridge next to a flood relief camp in Sukkur, in Sindh province on Aug. 28. Flood waters threatened to engulf two towns in southern Pakistan, a month after the disaster began. (Athar Hussain / Reuters)
Pakistani villagers affected by the floods line up for food at a releif camp in Sukkar on Aug. 27. (Pedro Ugarte / AFP – Getty Images)
Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food supplies in the Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province, Aug. 7. Pakistanis desperate to get out of flooded villages threw themselves at helicopters on as more heavy rain was expected. (Adrees Latif / Reuters)
Muhammad Munawar prays at the grave of his slain son, 17-year-old medical student Waleed, on July 14 in Chenab Nagar. Waleed was murdered in the May Lahore attacks on the Ahmadi mosques while talking to his parents on his cellphone during the attack. Waleed had lost both his grandfathers in the 1980s in killings that were deemed to be religiously motivated against Ahmadis. The Pakistani Ahmadis, who define themselves as Muslim but could face years in prison if they openly declare or practice their faith, have suffered persecution and discrimination for decades. In May 2010, 93 people were killed and over 100 injured in attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images)
A family laughs while watching acrobats perform at the Jan Baz circus in Islamabad on July 21. The circus, along with a summer festival, goes until July 25 at the Pothohair Village in the nation’s capital. (Adrees Latif / Reuters)

TAPI Pipeline Seeking Corporate Connection

Pact on pvt role in TAPI pipeline

RAJEEV JAYASWAL,ET BUREAU

NEW DELHI: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have agreed to rope in a global energy major to execute and manage a $7.6-billion natural gas pipeline running their land, brightening the prospect of a steady flow of gas from central Asia to energy-hungry South Asia.

The decision was taken after Afghanistan assured to secure the pipeline through the Taliban heartland and Pakistan in-principle agreed to do so in its territory, two senior officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The private partner will be inducted through an international bidding by the four countries, jointly referred to as TAPI.

“TAPI nations have agreed that in the case of a single bid, the (single) bidder will be awarded the project,” an official said.

The pipeline will start from the Dauletabad gas field in southeast Turkmenistan and after 145 km stretch in the country enter Afghanistan. After traversing 735 km in Afghanistan and 800 km in Pakistan, the pipeline will cross into India. The 1,680 km pipeline will have a capacity to transport 90 mmscmd (million standard cubic metres a day) gas. Asian Development Bank (ADB), the development partner of the TAPI project, had estimated its cost at $3.3 billion about 10 years ago.

The decision to induct a private partner was taken at the TAPI steering committee meeting of energy ministers of the four nations on September 20 at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital.

American and Russian energy companies are interested to invest in the project, the officials said. Induction of an energy giant in the consortium is expected to expedite the project and help minimise transportation risks through volatile Afghan and Pakistan regions.

Minister of state for petroleum & natural gas Jitin Prasada, who represented India in the meeting, confirmed the development but declined to comment on specific details.

“The pipeline is significant for India’s energy security but its success will depend on keeping minimum transit fee and setting up institutional mechanism to address security issues. We are working towards that,” Mr Prasada told ET after his visit to Ashgabat.

Pakistan will present an institutional framework for securing the pipeline in its territory at the 7th technical working group meeting, the officials said. The meeting date is not yet fixed, they said.

The Afghanistan government has already guaranteed the security of the pipeline by burying it underground and paying local communities to guard it.

Turkmenistan wants to sign the deal by December this year at a proposed head of states meeting and aims to complete the pipeline by 2014, the officials said. Gas accounts for 57% of Turkmenistan’s total exports followed by oil (26%), the reason it wants the pipeline to start quickly.

At the meeting Turkmenistan offered confirmed 90 mmscmd gas supply to the three nations from its Osman-Yolten reserve, certified to have between 4.25 trillion cubic meters (tcm) and 13 tcm gas.

Gaffney Cline and Associates (GCA), a British audit firm, in its audit report of October 2008 puts proven reserves of natural gas in Turkmenistan at more than 7 tcm.

The possible gas reserves could be as high as 24.6 tcm.

India is expected to get about 38 mmscmd gas, the same as Pakistan. Balance gas will go to Afghanistan.

New Internet Wiretaps Reflect Sovietized “Democracy” of Barack Obama

[When the following is considered with this, FBI Raiding Antiwar Activists in Terror Investigation, a pattern is seen, that of a government desperate to win a victory in the American homeland which it cannot hope to win on the real battlefields in Asia.  America's terror war has always been about expanding its arena of complete control into the "Third World," but more specifically, into the former USSR.  In the process, US leaders have failed and endangered every alliance because of our military gambit.

Critics of this failed policy must be silenced, hence the FBI raids, as well as the expanded Internet wiretaps.  There is no need for this new Internet policy, since the practice is probably commonplace already.  The new policy will legitimize the process so that it can be greatly expanded right down to local sheriffs and probably anyone who can claim a "national security" excuse.  Obama is following Putin/Medvedev's Russian model of “Sovereign Democracy” to remove the pesky aspects of First Amendment rights from American soil.]

‘N.Y. Times’: U.S. seeks to ease Internet wiretaps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking websites and BlackBerries, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order. That would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online.

“We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said FBI lawyer Valerie E. Caproni. “We’re not talking about expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

The White House plans to submit the proposed legislation to Congress next year.

The new regulations would raise new questions about protecting people’s privacy while balancing national security concerns.

James Dempsey, the vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the new regulations would have “huge implications.”

“They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function,” he told the Times.

The Times said the Obama proposal would likely include several requires:

— Any service that provides encrypted messages must be capable of unscrambling them.

— Any foreign communications providers that do business in the U.S. would have to have an office in the United States that’s capable of providing intercepts.

— Softward developers of peer-to-peer communications services would be required to redesign their products to allow interception.

The Times said that some privacy and technology advocates say the regulations would create weaknesses in the technology that hackers could more easily exploit.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Was Pak. Minister Def. Jatoi Warning Off Military Operation?

Acting like a typical military dictator, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has removed minister of state for defense production Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, from his position over speaking against the country’s military and the judiciary. The prime minister has reminded the entire nation that we still live in the age of ‘controlled democracy’ where “personal opinion” on core “sensitive issues” may prove to be very costly. The removal of the minister also implicitly demonstrates the ruling PPP’s displeasure for people like Jatoi who sympathize with the Baloch masses. It seems the PPP, which has a history of butchering the Balochs in 1970s, is left only with space for belligerent leaders like Rehman Malik.

What Jatoi said in Balochistan during his visit to the residence of late Nawab Akbar Bugti is in fact the shared feeling of all Balochs. These were not his personal views but the ‘collective views’ of the Balochs who feel the heat of a military operation in a new but more dangerous form. Never before did the Balochs receive the dead bodies of so many top lawyers, writers and political activists as they are experiencing at the moment.

The situation in Balochistan today is much worse than what it was during the military rule of Pervez Musharraf. The operation has been urbanized. The FC has made life miserable for the masses by expanding its network across the province. Opposition parties have vanished after the creation of anti-nationalist outfits that threaten to target political gatherings and democratic activities. The missing persons’ dead bodies are being recovered in highly humiliating conditions. How is the removal of a state minister going to restore order in Balochistan or regain the confidence of Balochs in the government? Party big guns in the PPP may silence Jatoi by employing various pressure tactics but how is the PPP government going to silence the whole enraged Baloch population that has even deeper and more provocative views than the sacked minister of state?

It is no secrete that the then army chief General Pervez Musharraf declared a war against the Balochs on the television: ” It is not the ’70s,” he said, ” we will hit you in a way that you won’t know what hit you from where.”  If the military did not kill Nawab Bugti then who else did it? Pervez Musharraf has never been apologetic about the military operation he carried out in Balochistan. Similarly, the army officers were congratulating each other when the former Baloch governor and chief minister was killed. They only stopped hiding their delighted faces once Bugti’s killing backfired. There was extraordinary condemnation from all over the country and abroad over the killing of a seventy-nine year old political guru. The killing was also followed by unprecedented violence, protest rallies and an irreversible sense of alienation among the Baloch youth.

There is genuine anger among the Balochs against the country’s judiciary which betrayed them after the historic lawyers’ movement. The only notion that kept on fueling the lawyers’ movement was the oft-repeated issue of the ‘missing persons’. The supporters of the sacked and now reinstated Chief Justice of Pakistan kept on insisting that the chief justice had been removed from his position because of his proactive interest in the cases of the ‘disappeared people’. In addition, they assured the masses that all the missing persons would return home once Justice Ifthakar Chaudhary was restored as the top judge of the country.

The Balochs feel no change in their lives even after the exit of Pervez Musharraf and restoration of Justice Chaudhary. The sons of Nawab Bugti, Jamil and Talal Bugti, have separately registered cases against Pervez Musharraf and some of his top aides. These cases have not made any headway inside the courts as the judiciary has become an equal partner in the crimes against the Balochs.

One can easily understand the pressure the civilian government is currently facing both from the military as well as the judiciary, a new player in the country’s highly polarized polity. Provocative remarks by cabinet members may jeopardize the very existence of the democratic government. But removing a minister who spoke in support of the Baloch masses will only send a negative message to the people of Balochistan. They would assume that the government favors the “holy cows” against the destitute Balochs.

Why was Rehman Malik not removed when he threatened  to use the danda against Baloch people?

Raisani must be kidding

Raisani must be kidding

If historians and journalists were waiting for a haunting quote from Balochistan’s chief minister, here it comes. Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, the chief minister, astounded everyone in Khuzdar during a press-talk by saying that most of the missing persons had “deliberately gone underground to malign the country’s intelligence agencies”. If former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s infamous quote, “it is not the 70s that you will hit and run…We will hit you in a way that you don’t know what hit you”, has become one of the most widely quoted statements of a man who devastated Balochistan, one can assertively predict that this statement of Chief Minister Raisani will go down in the history as the most disgraceful proclamation ever made by a Baloch chief minister.
The chief minister repeated what was once said by former dictator General Pervez Musharraf and subsequently by Rehman Malik, the current interior minister, that the missing persons had willingly gone abroad. Gone abroad? For what? He said the elements responsible for target killings were also responsible for hiding their associates and then showing them as “disappeared people”. In his words, the missing persons have deliberately gone underground and now the issue is being raised to embarrass the country’s intelligence agencies. Raisani, the fist chief minister in the history of Balochistan to be elected unopposed, is of the view that it is unreasonable on the part of the missing persons’ families to hold the agencies responsible for the whole mess.
Expectedly, a very emotional reaction has come from the families of the missing persons in response to the chief minister’s statement. If the government cannot deliver justice to the families of the missing persons due to its inefficiency and powerlessness to check the influence of the secrete services then it should not at least hurt the sentiments of the mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and sons of the missing persons. Once living a dignified and peaceful life inside their homes, these Baloch mothers are seen languishing from one press club to the other while holding the photographs of their beloved ones. Politics is one thing but no one, including the chief minister, has the right to insult human feelings to give a coverup to his government’s inefficiencies.
Government stance on the issue of disappeared people has varied from time to time due to its very ‘sensitive’ nature. No county in the world has such a high number of missing persons as Pakistan. Majority of them belong to Balochistan. When civil society organizations raised the issue very vocally, the government of Pervez Musharraf refuted such reports and said there were no missing persons. When pressure mounted after the family members of the missing persons coordinated with each other and organized themselves, they emerged as a loud and powerful voice. Amana Masood Janjuha in the Punjab and the family members of Ali Asghar Bangulzai in Balochistan must be applauded for pioneering the movement for the recovery of missing persons.
When the cat was out of the bag during Musharraf government, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Ifthakar Mohammad Chaudhary took suo moto notice of several missing persons’ cases. It was in fact a very selective process of dispensing justice because no Baloch gained relief out of the initiatives taken by the CJP. Yet, the CJP was sacked by Musharraf on the issue of missing persons which manifested the omnipotence of the forces that are masterminding these cases of disappearance.
At another stage, former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, confirmed with the media in Turbat (Balochistan) that some four thousand people were missing in Balochistan. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also quoted these figures in its comprehensive fact-finding report on Balochistan.
Inaction led to frustration. The Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF) kidnapped an American national, who was heading the Quetta office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in February this year solely to press the government of Pakistan to release around 1400 missing or detained Baloch persons and some 141 women allegedly kept in the custody of security forces. That episode also failed to yield any positive results in the case of missing persons.
Worst still, the Chief Justice of Pakistan has completely kept quit on the Baloch missing persons issue after his reinstatement on the prestigious post. Despite belonging to Balochistan, Chaudhary has disappointed the family members of the missing Balochs. Even some key members of the judicial movement that led to the restoration of the deposed chief justice now say they squandered their energies at a wrong place. The movement did not worth it, they say, because it failed to bring justice to Balochistan.
Raisani’s current statement –about missing persons having deliberately gone underground to miligan the intelligence agencies –sounds ridiculous given the fact that Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, who belongs to the same party of the Balochistan Chief Minister, issued a verified list of 992 missing Baloch persons this month. Does Raisani have an answer to the families of at least these 992 missing persons? Why would these people go underground as most of them belong to the families that live below poverty line? The missing persons’ list includes people from lower professions such as students, shopkeepers, tailor masters, clersk, paramedics etc.
Besides being the chief minister of Balochistan, Raisani is a reputed tribal chief in Balochistan. Thus, people want to share their sorrows with them with the hope that the latter can play a role to resolve their problems. He should apologize to the aging mothers of the missing persons for deeply hurting their sentiments as these aggrieved mothers now prepare to sit on a hunger strike in front of Quetta Press Club from December 30th amid freezing temperature of Quetta.

Uzbekistan Selling “Navoi” Free Industrial-Economic Zone to the World

The Concept of the FIEZ

Navoi region in Uzbekistan with developed industrial production, skilled manpower and rich raw material resources, as well as occupying a strategic location in the central part of the country has all for creation of a huge regional manufacturing complex and industrial center on its territory.

In an effort to increase production potential, acceleration of introducing of innovative technologies and developing of the new kinds of essential products demanded on the world market, leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan made a decision of establishing the first in the country free industrial-economic zone in Navoi city, the administrative center of the region.

The factor of beneficial location of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the crossroads of trade routes between the huge regional markets of South-East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States played a considerable role in making this decision.

The existing favorable conditions for establishment of international transportation and logistics Center on the base of Navoi Airport is an important prerequisite for organizing the new competitiveness products here with the possibility of immediate transportation of finished goods to the ultimate consumers in Europe and Asia.

The Concept of the FIEZThe Concept of the Free Industrial-Economic Zone on the base of Navoi airport grounds the forming the innovation-industrial, transport-logistical, social and recreational complex in 3 stages with mastering about 500 hectares of free area on each of them.

The establishing industrial complex FIEZ with the total area of 564 hectares provides for organizing of manufacture of competitive products in the foreign markets on the base of local raw material resources.

Available raw material potential allows to produce a wide range of finished goods, first of all textiles, sewing and leather-shoe goods, foodstuff, chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical output, building materials, as well as electro-technical, telecommunications and machine-building products (photo).

At the same time the preference will be given to the power efficient and green field manufacture and inculcation of innovative technologies and automatization of manufacturing process.

The territory of production complex is expected to be located on the area of 380 hectares near Navoi city. According to the developed lay-out of build over for placing industrial enterprises the territory of FIEZ will be divided into 21 clusters with the area of 6.5 to 25 ha, which allow to create enterprises of various output and scales during the first stage.

At the same time, the organizational measures undertaken now will allow to start the implementation of 20-40 investment projects in the current year, and in the upcoming 2010 to bring the number of implementing projects up to 100-120.

The Terms of Operation

The terms of operation of “Navoi” FIEZ will amount 30 years with the possibility of further extension for additional period. During this period special customs, fiscal and tax regimes, a simplified procedure for entry, stay and departure as well as obtaining of permits to carry out the labor activity by non-resident citizens of Uzbekistan will have an effect.

Legislative and Institutional Conditions

For the effective implementation of the concept of FIEZ in Navoi in Uzbekistan a large-scale work to develop appropriate legislative and institutional conditions for the functioning of FIEZ has been done and now is under process.

The legal basis of operating “Navoi” FIEZ in Uzbekistan is determined by the Regulation on the Free Industrial-Economic Zone “Navoi” adopted in January 2009. According to the Regulation the coordination and operational management of the FIEZ will be implemented by the Administrative Board consisted of representatives of governmental authorities and Directorate of the Zone.

Administrative Board of “Navoi” FIEZ by consideration with the Cabinet of Ministers can select as a Management body the internationally recognized managing company in order to transfer it rights of managing with FIEZ on contract basis.

FIEZ “Navoi” will have an independent budget, formed due to profits from providing of services and other receipts in accordance with national legislation, and also parts of receipts from land lease, buildings and infrastructure facilities. Within the range of budget, the FIEZ Development Fund for the development of infrastructure and increasing the efficiency of operating of the Zone can be created.

Preferences and Incentives

The Government of Uzbekistan has provided unprecedented favorable incentives and preferences for registered enterprises within the FIEZ.

Registered businesses will be exempted from land tax, property, profit, social infrastructure development taxes as well as unified tax payment (for small businesses), compulsory contributions to the Republican Road Fund and Republican School Fund from 7 to 15 years depending on the size of volume of invested foreign direct investment in the amount:

- from 3 to 10 million euros – for 7 years;

- from 10 to 30 million euros – for 10 years. Over the next 5 years the rates of profit and unified taxes payment shall be fixed at 50% level below current rates;

- more than 30 million euros – for 15 years. Over the next 10 years the rates of profit and unified taxes payment shall be fixed at 50% level below current rates.

Also, registered enterprises are exempted from paying customs duties (excluding charges for customs clearance) for equipment, raw materials and components imported for production of export goods for the full existing term of the FIEZ. For raw materials and components, imported for manufacturing of goods to be sold in the Uzbekistan market, customs duties are levied at the rate of 50 percent of the existing rates (excluding charges for customs clearance) with prolonging their payment terms up to 180 days.

Registered business entities will be provided with land parcels under a lease.

Registered companies will be able to exercise payments within the FIEZ in foreign currency, to pay in hard currency for supply of goods, works and services from other business entities – residents of Uzbekistan, and use convenient terms and forms of payment for exported and imported goods.

International Multimodal Logistic Hub

Development of transport logistic complex inseparably linked with implementation of plans for creation of international logistic centre on the base of Navoi International Airport.

Nowadays Navoi International Airport has a certificate of ICAO CAT II Runway, 4,000m X 45m with ILS, Radar and Lighting. In addition to, airport was equipped with the latest navigation equipment of producer Thales, France and Ground handling equipment supporting B747-400F operation. Moreover, airport can handle B747-400, AN-24, TU-154 as it has line maintenance for handling. Fuel capacity is 370,000 Gal. with 24 tanks .

The existing transport-transit potential of Uzbekistan, favorable conditions for using the opportunities of international transit and broad participation in international systems of transport communications open the prospects for creation of international logistic centre on the base of Navoi airport as transcontinental transport dispatch network, connecting East and South-East Asia with Europe, the Middle East and CIS countries.

The first steps in this direction have been done in August 2008, when a big South-Korean “Korean Air” air company started regular cargo flights on the route Seoul – Milano – Seoul with 6 intermediate landings in a week in Navoi city. At the same time regular flights of National Air company of Uzbekistan and Moskoviya Russian air company on the route Navoi – Tashkent – Moscow are being continued.

Beside air communication, Navoi has high transit potential of land transportation.

The developed transport communication network, integrated into the international transport system and which is the key challenge in communication system of Central Asia and CIS countries run via the city. International transport corridors lie in immediate proximity to Navoi airport: railway “Afghanistan – Central Asia – Europe” and automobile road “E-40” of international significance which links Beijing with Paris.

Currently construction of railway passing-track, connecting the city with the following railway trunks are being carried out:

- In the north-west direction – Uchkuduk – Nukus – Volgograd with the next exit via Russia to the European countries;

- In the east direction – Samarqand – Tashkent – Dustik with the next exit to China and South-East Asia;

- In the south direction – Bukhara – Turkmenistan – Bandar-Abbas with the further exit to the Middle East countries and the Persian Gulf.

In addition, with launching of Guzar – Baysun – Kumkurgan railroad in 2007, new railroad connection to Navoi city airport will provide direct access in the southern direction to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

In order to organize a complete reference system of distribution of goods in the region of Central Asia by land transport, as well as redistribution of the flow of goods by aircrafts in directions north – south and west – east, warehouses for storage and handling of goods, container floor will be constructed, the railway and road access ways will be summed up, the loading and unloading equipment will be purchased on the territory of Navoi airport.

To date, the construction of storage terminal of future transport and logistics center has been started.

Social and Recreational Conditions

The social recreational complex being created at the moment will allow to provide the staff of FIEZ with favorable working conditions, lifestyle and rest. For these purposes a land plot of 100 hectares on the bank of Zarafshan river flowing near the city of Navoi has been allotted. Here a construction of public buildings is expected with the assistance of “Korean Air” company ( photo)

At the end of 2008 in close proximity to the airport “Navoi” on 4-star hotel with 60 rooms has been put into operation. At present, the possibility of hand over of the hotel under the management of internationally recognized companies, conducting the hotel complexes is under study (photo).

In order to create favorable conditions of recreational rest for staff and workers of enterprises, a construction of a golf club and other sport and recreational facilities on an artificial lake Navoi is being planned in the area of the Zarafshan river basin (photo).

It should be noted that the city Navoi is highly attractive in terms of development of the tourism industry, due to proximity to major tourist centers of Uzbekistan and Central Asia – Bukhara and Samarqand, in which the unique historical monuments of world significance are located. The historic centers of these cities, which are over 2500 years old, are included to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Works Have Been Already Started

Along with forming the favorable conditions on legislative level a large scale construction works are being carried out on communications supply, creation of the proper engineering infrastructure, labor security for and vital functions of the staff in Navoi.

Works on construction of two-kilometer extent four-banded automobile road from an International highway “E-40” and three-kilometer branch line from the main railway of international significance have been already started.

Distance from FIEZ “Navoi” to the nearest infrastructure :

- freight terminal of Navoi airport – 4 km,

- railway – 4.5 km (Navoi-Uchkuduk-Nukus railway),

- highway “E-40″ – 2 km,

- electric power substation – 0.8 km,

- water distribution unit – 0.3 km,

- gas distribution unit – 0.4 km.

Within the FIEZ territory railways by a general extent of 1,5 km and automobile road by a general extent of 26 km with step by step access to the manufacturing area will be laid out as well.Free industrial-economical zone “Navoi” will open up for You unlimited investment possibilities of the Republic of Uzbekistan, allow to use advantages of special tax, custom and currency regimes and to increase the competitiveness of Your business.

Crowing About America’s “Successful” Militarized Diplomacy In Central Asia

U.S. AIMS TO EXPAND ITS PRESENCE IN UZBEKISTAN

By Erkin Akhmadov (07/21/2010 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Recent developments in Central Asia seem to have affected relations between the U.S. and Uzbekistan positively. These relations have not been characterized as cooperative during the past several years. However, either due to the unstable security situation in the region following the bloody clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan or the increasing role of Uzbekistan in providing logistical assistance for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, an increased U.S. presence in Uzbekistan now seems viable.

The dialogue between Tashkent and Washington was renewed last year, when leaders of the two states signed a plan of action for strengthening bilateral cooperation for the year 2010.

Several visits of high-ranking U.S. officials to Uzbekistan took place in the end of June. Among those were the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric Schwartz, the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, and the Assistant Secretary of State forDemocracy, Human Rights and Labor, Michael Posner. It should also be noted that Barack Obama recently nominated George Krol, who currently holds the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs to the post of U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Many experts consider this nomination as signaling a special role for Uzbekistan in U.S. foreign affairs.

During a business-forum in Washington DC last week, where Uzbekistan participated, Robert Blake reported that the U.S. invests US$ 500 million in Uzbekistan and that these investments may potentially be increased. It is already known that in 2010-2011, the U.S. will invest in a number of projects within the framework of the program “Provision in the name of progress”. In total, the program amounts to 2,411 billion Uzbek Soms (approximately US$ 1.5 million). The projects within this program will be implemented within areas such as water industry, hydrometeorology, veterinary science, healthcare, social protection and support for small businesses.

At the same forum, Uzbekistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ilhom Nematov, and its Deputy Minister of External Economic Relations and Trade, Shavkat Tulyaganov, proposed that the U.S. invest in the Free Industrial Economic Zone “Navoi”, which is currently the main logistic base for delivering goods to Afghanistan.

In fact, the U.S. has been interested in this project for a long time already. The current U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Richard Norland, suggests that the “Navoi” base will in the future transform into a transcontinental transportation-expeditionary air cargo hub, which would connect the Far East, South-East Asia, South Asia and Europe.

Furthermore, it seems that the U.S. plans to expand its presence in Central Asia, and specifically in Uzbekistan. The Federal Business Opportunities website reports that the U.S. Department of Defense plans to establish a number of military bases in Afghanistan and in the states of Central Asia. More specifically, the construction of an operational military base is planned fifty kilometers away from the Afghan-Uzbek border, which would include an operations centre, a strategic operations centre, a training centre, a material-technical provision centre, warehouses, living facilities, etc. In addition, the U.S. plans to build border check points and training bases in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan where U.S. military personnel would provide training for local defense forces.

Aleksey Malashenko of the Carnegie Moscow Center states that this type of cooperation is mutually beneficial for Uzbekistan and the U.S. He thinks that in light of the instability in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, where the U.S. operates from the Manas airbase, additional U.S. military bases in the region would ensure the continuity of U.S. operations in Afghanistan. Thus, a U.S. base in Uzbekistan would not become an alternative to Manas, but rather be part of the new U.S. strategy to have bases at numerous locations.

During the business forum, Blake mentioned the increasing role Uzbekistan currently plays in transferring U.S. cargo to Afghanistan. Thus, he stated that “Uzbekistan is already vitally important in the realization of international efforts in fighting militant extremists in Afghanistan”. Uzbek authorities have not yet officially responded to the U.S. messages. However, it seems that in light of the current security situation in the region and increased U.S. investments in Uzbekistan, a positive outcome is more than possible.

S. Korean President Lee Uses Remodel Contract To Finagle American Return To Uzbekistan

“우즈벡 공항 기지 미군이 쓸 수 있게 MB가 도와달라”
February 10, 2010
In an unusual move, President Lee Myung-bak will act as an emissary for the United States when he meets with Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov tomorrow.

The United States is seeking to use Navoi International Airport as a supply base for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and “President Lee has said he would bring up the issue of the U.S. military base during his summit meeting with President Karimov,” according to a Blue House source.

Uzbekistan had allowed the U.S. military to set up an air base in 2001, but relations between the two countries have been strained since 2005 after the United States condemned Uzbek troops’ violent crackdown on what the government called an antigovernment demonstration.

After that Karimov, who has been in power since 1991, has been reluctant to open the airport to U.S. troops, citing fear of becoming a target of terrorist strikes. Another U.S. supply base, Pakistan, has paid a high price in lives and property lost to repeated Taliban attacks. In a similar vein, Kyrgyzstan had threatened to close off a U.S. air base there, but has since reversed its stance.

The United States needs a strategic supply base, and has looked to Lee for assistance because of his close ties with Karimov and the bonds formed by Korean Air’s role in modernizing the Navoi airport. Sources said Washington has used a high-level diplomatic channel since early last year to ask Lee to deliver its message.

“During President Lee’s visit to Uzbekistan last May, he was busy discussing pressing issues between our two countries,” a Blue House source said. “The United States had been quiet after Kyrgyzstan reversed the decision to close the U.S. base there. But President Lee maintains he will bring up the issue [of the Navoi base] once he gets a chance to do so.”

Blue House insiders are not optimistic that Lee’s words alone will carry enough weight to resolve the base issue. Nonetheless, they said Lee would do his part by delivering the message of an ally.

Lee first met Karimov while he was mayor of Seoul in 2006, and the Uzbek president attended Lee’s inauguration in 2008. During Lee’s visit to Uzbekistan last year, Karimov was a constant shadow by his side, prompting journalists from both countries to quip that Lee was being stalked.

Karimov is scheduled to arrive in Seoul today and hold the summit with Lee tomorrow. Karimov’s three-day visit, which includes meetings with Prime Minister Chung Un-chan, Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho and Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun, is his sixth trip to Korea.

By Seo Seung-wook [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]

International Oil Companies and the Takeover of Central Asia

“What is also significant is the ‘openness of Caspian-basin nations to investments from international oil companies,’ Cornell noted, saying that the cooperation between national oil companies and the international giants presented a new method of handling national oil wealth.”

Central Asian energy development welcomed by energy summit analysts

Jax Jacobsen

Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Research Director Svante Cornell was among the int’l energy experts who spoke at Thursday’s Washington Energy Summit

WASHINGTON, DC – Friday, September 24, 2010 – The emergence of Central Asia as a major oil and gas producer has been a welcome development in the realm of energy in the past twenty years, analysts said Thursday during the Washington Energy Summit in Washington, DC.

The development of energy reserves from nations located around the Caspian basin has been one of the most important changes in the last two decades, noted Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Research Director Svante Cornell.

It has allowed oil-consuming countries “to diversify their import sources” by increasing their choices of oil sellers, while simultaneously allowing producer nations, like Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, “to diversify their exports.”

“Central Asia can work further to diversify their [energy] exports if they have long-term plans,” he said.

Another benefit to the emergence of Central Asia on the global energy scene lies in its geography, Cornell noted.

“The Central Asian republics are located near energy consumers” like Russia and China, which makes the transportation of fuel to customers easier and allows Central Asian producers to export more, he added.

What is also significant is the “openness of Caspian-basin nations to investments from international oil companies,” Cornell noted, saying that the cooperation between national oil companies and the international giants presented a new method of handling national oil wealth.

The Caspian basin region also offers attractive conditions for international investors, said Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Ariel Cohen.

“The rule of law and protection of assets is important” for international oil companies to consider, he said. In the Caspian region and Central Asia, “the political risk is low, even if it is geographically difficult” to extract the fuels.

The biggest question in the region is the future of resource development in Turkmenistan, analysts said.

The amount of gas resources in Turkmenistan have not been quantified for as long as other nations in the region and the country’s energy relations with regional gas giant, Russia, have been testy.

Russia’s Gazprom is reported to have spread rumors about the lack of quality of Turkmenistan’s reserves, Cornell said. Russia also shut off valves shortly before Turkmenistan built a gas pipeline that would provide China with 30-40 bcm of gas per year.

“Now, Turkmenistan is going to exclude Gazprom from the construction of its East-West pipeline,” Cornell said, adding that Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov recently excluded Russia from a list of potential gas customers that also included China, Europe and Iran.

Turkmenistan’s gas reserves are estimated to be 7 trillion cubic meters, the fifth-largest in the world.


Taliban Grab British Woman To Trade for Dr. Siddiqui


Taliban demand prisoner swap for kidnapped British aid worker

Taliban militants are holding the British woman kidnapped in Afghanistan and want to exchange her for a female Pakistani scientist jailed last week in America, it has been reported.

By Ben Farmer, Kabul

A local Taliban commander named Mohammad Osman said he had kidnapped the woman and her Afghan colleagues in Kunar province on Sunday.

He told an Afghan press agency with close ties to the Taliban that he was demanding an exchange for Aafia Siddiqui.

Siddiqui, a 38-year-old neuroscientist, was jailed last week by a New York court for 86 years for the attempted murder of US agents and soldiers who were trying to interrogate her in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Osman told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP), based in Peshawar in northeastern Pakistan: “We are lucky that we abducted this British woman soon after the ruthless ruling by an American court on Aafia Siddiqui

“We will demand the release of Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for her.”

British government policy is never to pay ransoms to kidnappers, but London and Washington are in contact over the report.

The AIP frequently carries interviews and statements from senior insurgent figures and is considered to be have close links to the Taliban.

The British embassy in Kabul would not discuss the credibility of the report or demand. A spokeswoman said: “We do not discuss operational details.”

The Foreign Office and the family of the kidnapped woman have asked the press not to name her. She was working for the aid contractor Development Alternatives Inc, on a project paid for by the American government.

She was kidnapped with three Afghan colleagues on Sunday morning as she drove in a two-car convoy from the provincial capital of Asadabad to Jalalabad.

Siddiqui’s sentence provoked anger in Pakistan, where thousands took to the streets demanding her release.

Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister, called on America to repatriate a “daughter of the nation” to improve its image in Pakistan.

The Taliban commander said Siddiqui was a sister to all Muslims.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated scientist and mother-of-three was convicted of opening fire on her interrogators after grabbing a weapon while she was in custody in Afghanistan in 2008.

Prosecutors said she had been arrested in Ghazni that year carrying details of prominent American monuments and bomb-making notes.

Her supporters contend she had been kept for years in a secret prison before her arrest and badly treated in custody.

Defence lawyers said her gun attack, in which she failed to hit any one, was a spontaneous “freak out,” born of mental illness.

American Air Attacks Within Pakistan, Whether by Drone or Piloted Ship, Spells Disaster

English.news.cn 2010-09-27 00:08:30
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — At least nine people were killed and another two injured in three U.S. drone strikes launched on Sunday evening in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan, reported local media.

According to the reports, the U.S. drones launched three strikes at different targets in Miranshah, North Waziristan, a place bordering Afghanistan, which is believed to be one of the strongholds of militants in Pakistan.

During the first strike, the U.S. drones fired three missiles at a house located at the Datta Khel Road in Miranshah, killing at least four people and injuring two others.

In the second strike, six to seven U.S. drones seen hovering over Miranshah fired five missiles at a target at the Tarmano Road in the area, killing at least three people.

In the third strike, the U.S. drones fired one missile at another target in the Miranshah, killing at least two people.

The third strike launched by U.S. drones on Sunday evening counts for the eighth of its kind over the past week. Starting from last Sunday, the U.S. drones have apparently stepped up its strike against the militants hiding in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan. So far over 40 people including some important militant leaders have reportedly been killed in the strikes since last Sunday.

The so-called precision strikes of the U.S. drones against militants have also mistakenly killed many other innocent people. There are reports saying that the death ratio of militants killed against civilians in such strikes stands at about 1 against 25, leading to a strong anti-American sentiment in the country.

Local watchers believe that the repeated U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, plus the recent sentencing of a Pakistani female scientist named Aafia Siddiqui to 86-year imprisonment by a US court over terrorism charges, could lead to another round of fierce terrorist attacks in the country.

On Saturday night three NATO oil tankers were attacked by Taliban in Pakistan and Pakistan Talibans have threatened to continue attacks on NATO convoys supplying goods to the US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan through the land route of Pakistan unless Aafia Siddiqui, a female Pakistani scientist recently sentenced to 86-year imprisonment by a US court, is released and returned to Pakistan.

NATO Forces Conduct Series of Airstrikes Inside Pakistan

[Hell, th]ey may as well go in; Gen. Kayani has thrown the door wide open to his American bosses.

NATO forces carry out 2 airstrikes in Pakistan, killing more than 50 insurgents

By SEBASTIAN ABBOT , Associated Press

ISLAMABAD – NATO helicopters based in Afghanistan carried out at least two airstrikes in Pakistan that killed more than 50 militants after the insurgents attacked a small Afghan security outpost near the border, spokesmen said Monday.

NATO justified the strikes based on “the right of self-defense.” Pakistan is sensitive about attacks on its territory, but U.S. officials have said they have an agreement that allows aircraft to cross a few miles into Pakistani airspace if they are in hot pursuit of a target.

The first strike took place Saturday after insurgents based in Pakistan attacked an Afghan outpost in Khost province, which is located right across the border from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area, said U.S. Capt. Ryan Donald, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“The ISAF helicopters did cross into Pakistan territory to engage the insurgents,” said Donald. “ISAF maintains the right to self-defense, and that’s why they crossed the Pakistan border.”

The strike killed 49 militants, said U.S. Maj. Michael Johnson, another ISAF spokesman.

The second attack occurred when helicopters returned to the border area and were attacked by insurgents based in Pakistan, said Donald.

“The helicopters returned to the scene and they received direct small arms fire and, once again operating in self-defense, they engaged the insurgents,” said Donald.

The strike killed at least four militants, said Johnson.

The tribal area where the strikes took place is largely controlled by militants who regularly carry out attacks against NATO troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. rarely uses manned aircraft to carry out strikes in North Waziristan and instead relies on drone attacks that American officials refuse to acknowledge publicly.

Pakistani intelligence officials said two NATO helicopters carried out a third strike inside Pakistani territory on Monday morning, killing five militants and wounding nine others.

The strike occurred in the village of Mata Sanger in the Kurram tribal area, which is directly across the border from the Afghan provinces of Paktia and Nangarhar, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Donald, the NATO spokesman, said officials were still investigating and could not confirm or deny reports of the attack in Kurram.

The Pakistani military could not be reached to comment on the NATO attacks.

Foreign helicopter fires on Somali militants, narrowly misses leaders

Foreign helicopter fires on Somali militants, narrowly misses leaders

The rockets struck a town controlled by Al-Shabab, which has aligned itself with Al-Qaida.

By MOHAMED IBRAHIM and JEFFREY GETTLEMAN , New York Times

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA – An unidentified military helicopter fired rockets at a house where Somali militants were meeting Sunday, residents and insurgent leaders said, in an apparent strike against Al-Shabab.

Residents in Merca, a seaside town firmly in Al-Shabab’s hands, said that a foreign military helicopter was flying low circles overhead Sunday morning before the attack. The residents said they saw the helicopter coming from the ocean but did not see any ships or know what country it belonged to. According to one Al-Shabab official, the helicopter’s rockets narrowly missed killing several leaders of the group.

Immediately after the attack, the group started blocking the roads in and outside the town and started investigations. They also seized cell phones from local reporters in an effort to ensure that the information did not go beyond Merca, according to residents.

The rockets hit “between two houses, and for God’s sake, no one has been killed or injured in the attack,” said the Al-Shabab official, who spoke from Merca on the condition of anonymity. “It was in fact a house where Al-Shabab officials were meeting.”

Last year, U.S. commandos killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a wanted agent of Al-Qaida, in a helicopter raid not far from Merca. That swath of southern Somalia is widely believed to be a sanctuary for several wanted terrorists and insurgent leaders, including Omar Hammami, an American militant originally from Alabama who has steadily risen up Al-Shabab’s ranks and become one of the organization’s top field commanders.

Al-Shabab, an Islamist group whose members have gained a reputation of ruthlessness for stoning adulterers and chopping off hands, controls much of Somalia and has drawn increasingly close to Al-Qaida in recent months.

At the same time, Somalia’s internationally recognized transitional federal government, which has received tens of millions of dollars in American aid, is struggling to control a few blocks of the capital, Mogadishu.

What is going on in Tajikistan? Sewing a pattern

What is going on in Tajikistan? Sewing a pattern

By NewEurasia Tajikistan — Global Blogger
Published: September 26, 2010 22:00 ET in Europe
Photograph by Flickr user Catherine Hine (CC-usage).
Photograph by Flickr user Catherine Hine (CC-usage).

What is going in my country? Six Islamic militants, including a “foreign mercenary,” were killed during the anti-terror operation in the east of the country, the spokesmen of the Tajik Defense Ministry Faridun Mahmadaliev told journalists in Dushanbe yesterday. He confirmed that the special operation to”‘neutralize illegal armed groups in the Rasht Valley” is continuing.

According to authorities, these groups are responsible for a deadly ambush that killed 28 Tajik soldiers on September 19 in Kamarob. Initially, according to the authorities, the soldiers were sent to the region to hunt a group of prisoners who escaped jail in Dushanbe on August 23. However, local sources say the preparation for the operation was already under way long before the massive jailbreak. They also add that not one of the escaped prisoners are Rasht Valley natives, making the area an unlikely hideaway.

Another bit of suspicion was added when high profile government figures said the soldiers are seeking to eliminate Mullah Abdullah, a former opposition commander who did not accept the peace deal of 1997 and left the country for Afghanistan in 2000. Hunting Abdullah had also been the aim of the previous massive anti-terror operation conducted by the Tajik special forces last summer in Tavildara Valley. That mission did not succeed in capturing or killing Abdullah, but it did kill one-time Emergency Minister and former opposition field commander Mirzo Ziyoev under suspicious circumstances.

All this has led some independent newspapers in Dushanbe to dub Mullah Abdullah the “Tajik Bin Laden,” a vague phantom with the power to “appear” in other areas of the country and thus instigating new anti-terror operations resulting in more deaths problematic individuals. The authorities harshly criticized these papers, saying, “The independent papers are trying to demoralize our brave militaries, put in doubt our noble mission, and make our population hopeless.”

Yet, skepticism is a perfectly logical reaction to the situation, and here’s why.

A common thread between the two missions are the government figures behind them: Defense Minister Khairullah Sheraliev, Interior Affairs Minister Abdurahim Qahhorov, First Deputy of the Chief of the State Committee of National Security Mansurjon Umarov, and First Deputy of the Prosecutor General Abduqodir Muhammadiev. Incidentally, this entire group visited the region and met former opposition commanders Mirzokhuja Ahmadov and Shoh Iskandarov to solicit their help in finding Abdullah.

Ahmadov and Iskandarov accepted the peace deal of 1997 and worked in the Interior Ministry until 2008. Ahmadov became popular when the Special Unit of the Interior Ministry tried and failed to arrest him in February 2008. The commander of the unit, Oleg Zakharchenko, was killed during the event. Ahmadov told the public that he was innocent. He also claimed that the unit’s soldiers started firing upon his men, and in the ensuing skirmish, Zakharchenko was accidentally killed.

At the time, then Interior Minister General Mahmadnazar Solehov said he did not send the unit to arrest Ahmadov. Solehov was eventually compelled to resign, though, and then was killed in June 2009 when the government tried to arrest him. Officials said he killed himself, but the situation remains murky. According to some sources, he was considering joining the political opposition to overthrow President Rahmon.

Meanwhile, Ahmadov succeeded in convincing Rahmon that he was not connected to Solehov and was subsequently pardoned during a presidential visit to the region, which included a personal meeting between the two men, in October 2009. Because it was an oral pardon and not a formal documented decree, Ahmadov was anxious about his safety. When the criminal investigation into Zakharchenko’s death was re-opened in April 2010, he made a public appeal to Rahmon to stay true to the pardon.

By the way, it is during this visit that local sources say the first soldiers arrived, about 250 of them. Hmmmm the way the needle is sewing this thread, it seems to me that both missions, as well as the meeting with Ahmadov and Iskandarov, needed Rahmon’s green light. Ahmadov’s connection to Abdullah cannot be reassuring for the former.

Normally I hesitate to speculate, but my needle is sewing a pattern that makes me wonder whether Abdullah is even alive, much less in the country. Whatever the truth, the authorities are indeed using his name to launch suspicious operations against individuals who would have the capacity to lead an uprising against the government.

By “uprising” I generally mean social unrest, which actually could be ignited in any part of the country, but which is most likely to arise from the Rasht Valley. If it does happen there, then it could evolve into outright revolt against the government. Keep in mind that this area was a stronghold of the opposition during the civil war, and that its inhabitants, the Gharmi, were against the Kulobi clan — the clan of Rahmon.

I hope I’m wrong, but Tajikistan’s carpet is unraveling at the seams. Prices continue to rise, the Roghun project is deflating our currency and enraging our neighbors, the government is impotent, and worst of all, the winter is coming…

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